Thursday, March 7, 2013 – Travel Day
Thursday-Friday was a long travel day with a three hour car ride from Changzhou to Shanghai, a 3 hour plane trip from Shanghai to Guangzhou and an 8 hour plane trip from Guangzhou to Perth.
The driver picked us up at the hotel at 9:00 am and then we settled into the van for the long drive to Shanghai, and I fell into a light nap on the way. I woke in and out of napping to see Ron with his I-pad out in map mode, directing the driver to go here, turn there, and I remember thinking, “Surely the driver knows the way to Shanghai, why is Ron telling him which way to go?” Especially since the driver spoke no English and Ron spoke no Mandarin. Imagine my surprise when we pull up in front of the Silk Weaving Museum and Mill. Ron laughed and said he and Maggie and Lucy had been planning this surprise for me for a couple of days. I was both delighted and humbled to have the opportunity to see a real working silk mill as well at the historical museum site, from the moths laying eggs, the silkworms being fed, and the cocoons being spun. The old draw looms were so impressive, and spoke of the precision and care required to create a piece of woven silk by hand.
Then on we went to the working mill to see the cocoons being reeled, and to see women pulling the silk off of the cocoons to create silk bells and silk hankies with such patience.
Finally on to the store and silk shopping, where I was able to buy skeins of reeled silk for a reasonable price, and Ron bought a cool silk shirt. Then, back in the van to the airport, where we said goodbye to Lucy and our driver, Mr. Shu, and so on to the conclusion of our trip to Australia.